Monthly Archive:: November 2012

ABC Kids Expo 2012: What’s New from Dorel (Maxi-Cosi, Safety 1st, Eddie Bauer & Cosco)

In their Maxi-Cosi line, the Prezi infant seat (based on the European Maxi-Cosi Pebble) is already shipping! We had a chance to play with it at the show and I was very impressed! Stay tuned to the blog for a full Prezi review coming soon! In the mean time, here are some Prezi details and pics:

  • 4-30 lbs
  • Adjustable headrest with no-rethread harness
  • Removable infant insert (4-11 lbs)
  • Air Protect technology and G-Cell energy-absorbing foam (from Indy race car technology)
  • Easy out harness; not removable
  • Anti-rebound bar
  • Going to Canada, possibly 2nd Qtr 2013
  • Push on latch connectors
  • 4 position adjustable base
  • 11.7 lbs carrier weight
  • 4.5, 6.5″ crotch strap/buckle slots
  • 12″ top harness height setting
  • Harness stiff but smooth


Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 will be available soon *without* TinyFit insert! $249

  • Shipping in Dec, avail 1st Qtr 2013
  • Will be called Pria 70
  • Minimum weight rating 9 lbs (not designed to fit smaller newborns)
  • 9-40 lbs RF; 22-70 lbs FF
  • 8.5″ bottom harness slots
  • Air Protect technology
  • Fashions include pink/steel blue/dark gray/ light gray
  • Will also be available in black leather
I am VERY excited about this new addition to the product line! I really love the Pria 70 but the TinyFit insert made it relatively complicated and most parents use an infant seat first and don’t necessarily want or need the additional insert.  See our full review of the Pria 70 (with TinyFit) here.



Pria 70 with TinyFit insert will continue to be available $289

  • Will be called “Pria 70 with TinyFit”
  • See Heather’s thorough review of this innovative convertible here


New from the Safety 1st product line:

  • BOOSTAPAK! It’s an adjustable backpack! It’s a backless booster! It’s totally funky and innovative & cool!
  • We’ll have a review soon so stay tuned




New from the Cosco product line:
  • Stack It backless booster: $18.99; currently available at K-Mart
  • Rightway Highback Booster $34.99; Walmart exclusive; hbb version of Stack It. (Stack it bottom with Pronto back)
  • New fashions for Apt 40RF convertible & Comfy Carry infant seat


I had some questions about the seatbelt routing on the Top Side backless booster (since it’s different from almost all other dedicated boosters) and they confirmed that the shoulder belt portion of the seatbelt MUST be routed over the armrest. Routing the seatbelt the traditional way is not an option based on their testing. I think this is one of those rare situations where parents and kids are going to get it right – and CPS Techs may mess it up if they don’t carefully read the manual and follow the diagrams.


Cool, ultra-compact  Quinny Yezz stroller $279 (weighs only 11 lbs)


How to Keep Your Baby Warm This Winter

Snow is falling and parents everywhere are thinking about how to keep their kids warm this winter. Some climates are milder than others where in others, your nose falls off from frostbite the second you step outside. There are good and bad ways to go about keeping your kid warm in a carseat and I’ll show you how to do it the safe way here. First, let’s memorize this important tip: nothing goes between your child and the carseat or the harness. What does that mean? You shouldn’t put anything under your child in the carseat that didn’t come with the carseat out of the box nor should you put anything between the child and the harness, like a blanket. Why? Compression. Padding compresses leaving the harness loose and a loose harness means an increase in chance of injury. So, keeping this tip in mind, puffy snowsuits are great in the snow, but not in the car.


puffy snowsuit


You might think, “OK, so I won’t use the one that has all the puff and fluff behind it. I’ll use the one that has the thin blanket behind it instead.” Guess what? I tested that one too. And guess what? Oy. I was truly surprised because I thought it would be OK. After all, it was a very thin layer, but it also left the harness loose AND take a look at the pictures to see what truly shocked me.

See how my doll’s chin is pushed all the way forward to his chest? I can’t begin to tell you how much that scares me. The KeyFit that I’m using isn’t a big seat, but it is a rounded seat on the backside, so the Lite Bundleme may fit a different infant seat more favorably. But it still is going to leave slack in the harness. Adjusting the elastic that holds the Lite Bundleme to higher up on the back of the infant seat does affect the fit of the doll. The product instructions don’t specify where to place the elastic on the infant seat, simply to place it over the back of the seat. So, it’s quite feasible that a parent could over-stretch it as in the first picture in the hopes of keeping it from sliding off. Hopefully common sense comes into play and the parent sees the chin-to-chest of the baby and knows that’s not a good fit of the product.


Instead, if your baby must wear a warm suit, use a fleece bunting over a long-sleeved onesie. Fleece will keep your baby warm, especially with fleece blankets layered on top. Using several thin layers allows you to adjust your baby’s temperature more easily as you go from one environment to another so babe doesn’t overheat or get too cold. Some fleece suits have fold-over flaps for hands and feet coverage too. Carters and Old Navy are good places to start for fleece jammies and brands like Columbia and The North Face have the more heavy duty fleece buntings. Infant seat shower cap-style covers are pretty plentiful and come in all different colors and designs (including some really cute ones!), so you have plenty from which to choose. Remember, to be safest, when your baby is in the carseat, always keep her buckled securely and use layers for comfort. Here’s a list of shower cap infant seat covers:

JJ Cole Car Seat Cover

Jolly Jumper Sneak a Peak Infant Carseat Cover Deluxe

Jolly Jumper Arctice Sneak a Peak Infant Carseat Cover

The First Years Carseat Cover

Snugaroo Fleece Infant Car Seat Jacket/Cover and Matching Baby Hat

Babbaco Babbacover Snuggle Fleece

Kangaroo Infant Car Seat Fleece Cover

NoJo Double Zipper Baby Cover-Up

These are the JJ Cole Bundleme products I tested. The Urban Bundleme and the original Bundleme are the same, but the Urban has an upgraded outside fashion. If you’re going to use a Bundleme product, I’ve marked the safe one.

As you can see from the list above, there are lots of covers from which to choose and you can even make your own. For older toddlers and big kids, there are ponchos. The key is to make yourself aware of the dangers of loose harnesses and to know that during the most slippery driving time of the year, it’s especially important for our kiddos to be buckled up properly. Drive safely and warmly!


Britax Boulevard 70-G3, Pavilion 70-G3 and Advocate 70-G3 Convertible Carseat Recall

Britax is announcing a recall of certain convertible carseats due to a possible choking hazard.  This is not a crash safety issue and does not necessarily require immediate attention unless you have noted an issue with your child chewing on the HUGS chest pads.  This issue affects Boulevard 70-G3, Pavilion 70-G3 and Advocate 70-G3 models made between June 1st, 2012 and August 31st, 2012.

The new design of HUGS pads on some G3 convertible carseats may separate if a child chews on it repeatedly, possibly leading to a choking hazard.  This does not affect previous designs of Britax convertibles.  Parents may continue to use their Britax convertibles with the HUGS pads until replacements are installed, provided that no chewing issue is noted with the HUGS pads.

If chewing or biting on the HUGS rubber pads has been noted, the parent may remove the HUGS pads until replacements arrive.  The owner’s manual advises that the HUGS pads are optional rear-facing, but required forward-facing for improved crash safety.  Britax states that they have tested the G3 models without HUGS pads and they still exceed the necessary standards for forward-facing children, so parents may remove them temporarily, but only until replacements can be installed.  Replacements should begin to ship to registered product owners within a week.

No known injuries have been reported.  Please see attached pdf documents for a complete list of affected model numbers and other information for USA and Canada.

P547900-USA Consumer 577 Notice

P548000-CAN Consumer Notice

Owners may contact Britax Customer Service Department at 1-888-427-4829 if you have questions.

Britax Baby Carrier *Giveaway*!

Britax is well known for their carseats, boosters and strollers but did you know they also make baby carriers? As a parent & Child Passenger Safety Technician-Instructor, I certainly appreciate all the fabulous carseats we have available on the market today but carseats are designed for use in the car. And babies are designed to be held close by a loving parent or caregiver. Let’s be honest – in our society right now babies are spending waaaay too much time in their infant “bucket” seats. It’s almost as if we’ve forgotten how to hold and carry our babies!

Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the convenience that an infant carseat provides but consider how many hours the average American infant spends in his or her infant carseat. First, there is all the time spent in the carseat in the vehicle, then all the time spent in the carseat when used with the stroller (aka the “travel system”), now add in the time spent in the carseat when at the grocery store (and on that note – please NEVER perch your infant carseat on the top of the shopping cart), now add in the time spent in the carseat finishing a nap on the living room floor, etc. It really starts to add up! Look, no one is suggesting that you shouldn’t allow baby to finish his/her nap in the carseat but try to make a concerted effort to limit the amount of time that baby spends in the infant carseat each day. As a practical alternative, use a sling or soft baby carrier when you’re out and about!

The contest is now closed. Thanks for participating!

Thanks to our generous friends at Britax we’re giving away one Britax Baby Carrier! There’s a story behind this but I know you care less about the story and more about the giveaway so I’ll make it brief. At the ABC Expo the clever and creative marketing peeps at Britax had this entertaining “win a Britax product” wheel at their booth and we had a chance to spin the wheel and win whatever product or accessory it landed on. We tried to convince them that we should get 3 spins since Darren, Heather & I were all present but they didn’t go for it. Lol! I had the honor of spinning for Team CSB (and for our readers!) and I won the Britax Baby Carrier which is actually a really nice prize even though I didn’t know much about the product at the time. I’ve enlightened myself since then and here’s what I can tell you…

ABC Kids Expo 2012: What’s new from Diono, Harmony & Peg Perego

Apologies for the delay in getting updates from the ABC Expo posted but between the Tri-State CPS Conference last week (in the geographical location formerly known as Atlantic City, NJ) and Hurricane Sandy – things have been a little hectic on my end.  We lost power on Monday evening as Sandy raged through the area and we spent a couple of days and nights without heat or electricity. I’ll be honest – I was getting more than a little cranky. Thankfully some guys from South Carolina drove up to NY with a large truck full of new generators. It was a major investment that we weren’t planning to make this month but desperate times call for desperate measures (and a credit card)!  So, courtesy of our new generator and the mobile hotspot from my phone – I hereby bring you the next round of ABC updates…



New StratoFIX $349 (Euro model should launch simultaneously;  plans for it to make its way to Canada eventually).

See our previous StratoFIX blog with video here.

  • Still in prototype stage
  • Forward-facing only: 22 – 80 lbs
  • Rigid LATCH attachments with SuperLATCH connectors
  • Load leg (does not detach)
  • Will have top tether strap
  • Recline feature
  • Lockoff for seatbelt installs
  • Easy off cover
  • No rethread harness but straps also adjust (manually) to a slightly wider width for child’s comfort
  • Steel frame


Monterey with modified upper shoulder belt guides should start shipping 1st Qtr 2013.  A few new Monterey fashions will also be available next year.


New Radian GTX model will include seat protector mat, extra cupholder, and “PUREFAB” stain resistant, chemical-free, non-toxic fabric. Will also come with 10 yr warranty.

      Diono Radian GTX fabric




Lots of cool new products coming soon from Harmony but we’re not allowed to talk about them yet. We promise to post all the details as soon as our gag order is lifted! ;)

In the meantime, we did get the scoop on some Canadian products and news!
V7 (Canadian seat)
22-50 lbs with harness
80 lbs hbb; 110 lbs backless



LiteRider backless booster (aka Harmony Youth Booster) will be arriving in some Canadian Wal-Mart stores soon. 2 fashions will be available initially (didn’t say what they would be) and price will be under $20! This is BIG news for our friends north of the border!


Peg Perego:

Confirmed that the FF “lockoff” on the Viaggio convertible isn’t considered a true lockoff in their opinion even though it does cinch the belt tightly when closed. Their stance is that the function of the lockoff is to add stability but that it shouldn’t replace locking the seatbelt. Heather and I both scratched our heads over that one. Maybe they’ll change their mind down the road – but for now they want you to switch the retractor to ALR if using the seatbelt and the lockoff (assuming you have switchable retractors and not a locking latchplate). If you have an older vehicle (pre-1996) that doesn’t have seatbelts with pre-crash locking features then you will need to use a locking clip. Other changes to the Viaggio convertible include a different shell color and the pull tab (to raise and lower headrest height) has been slightly modified.


New Alcantara collection. Soft, breathable fabric – loved it!



Viaggio Highback Booster is shipping!

  • Lower LATCH attachments (push-on connectors)
  • 40-120 lbs
  • 19.5″ to bottom of belt guide in highest height setting
  • 15″ seat depth
  • 11.5″ wide between the armrests
  • Base portion has snap off cover and *thick* EPS foam
  • Reclines to match vehicle seat contour
  • Can be used backless
  • $199, $219 (depending on fashion)
  • In Canada already!

Stay tuned! More ABC updates coming soon!